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Ireland Confident On FDI Prospects

by Jason Gorringe,, London

07 July 2017

The Irish Government's inward investment agency has said that the country is continuing to attract foreign direct investment, and stressed that Ireland must remain competitive if it hopes to maintain its position of strength.

IDA Ireland has published its provisional results for FDI in the first half of 2017. It said the investments it has approved will lead to the creation of 11,000 jobs. It explained that while the overall level of investment matches that recorded in the same period in 2016, the job content is higher due to some significant investments of scale. Lifesciences, Content and Business Services, Technology, and International Financial Services all performed strongly.

IDA Ireland said that Brexit continues to represent both an opportunity and a challenge for it and its client companies. The agency has been in discussions with potential investors for more than a year, with the majority of the engagement being with financial services companies.

IDA Ireland said that it is now seeing an increasing number of Brexit-motivated potential investments across a number of sectors, where companies are beginning to formulate plans based on the UK's decision to leave the EU.

According to IDA Ireland, 72 percent of its clients plan to increase their headcount over the next 18 months, while 50 percent believe that their growth prospects in the country are excellent or very good. In addition, 76 percent of clients said that they are trying to expand the mandate of their Irish operation.

Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, said that "2017 has brought the competitive nature of winning foreign direct investment into sharp relief." He stressed that Ireland must remain competitive to ensure that it continues to achieve positive results.

Shanahan explained: "Talent and skills availability is the number one issue on the minds of investors, in this context, our clients are very happy with the third level education system but believe that we need to address the areas of housing availability and cost, as well as personal taxation, in order to continue to attract and retain talent and win high levels of investment."

"Client companies have also identified areas that Ireland is best at. Among other things, investors have expressed satisfaction with [the] corporate tax regime, labor force flexibility, and the quality of our electricity and gas supply."

Enterprise Minister Frances Fitzgerald commented: "We continue to have a great product to sell. We have a talented and dynamic workforce. We have a competitive and transparent taxation regime. We have a proven track record as a successful home to global businesses. And we have a hard-earned reputation as a country that supports and fosters enterprise."

TAGS: tax | investment | business | Ireland | foreign direct investment (FDI) | financial services | corporation tax | tax thresholds | education | multinationals | tax rates | tax reform | individual income tax | services

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